Know before you go
Time in Italy
Understanding the time in Italy.
So you're about to travel to Italy and you need to tell people back home when they can contact you?
Here's all the facts you need about Italian time to help you plan.
This article covers all the facts you're likely to need to know:
Which time zone is Italy in?
It's in the Central European Time zone which is one hour ahead of Greenwich Mean Time.
There's only one time zone in the country, so no matter where you are in Italy or any of its islands, the time will be the same.
Italy and Daylight Savings.
Along with the rest of the European Union, Italy is currently subject to Daylight Savings time. Clocks go forward one hour on the last Sunday in March, back an hour on the last Sunday in October.
However, EU member states, including Italy, have voted to stop Daylight Savings time altogether in 2021. Clocks will go forward by one hour on the last Sunday in March, 2021.
Thereafter, Italy will be on permanent European Summer Time.
Italian time now.
This clock is here for your convenience. It always shows the exact time throughout Italy and its islands at this very moment, and automatically updates.
So you can gauge with confidence how far behind or ahead you'll be when visiting the country.
The current time and date in Italy now is...
What's the time right now in Florence, Rome and Venice, Italy?
It's exactly the same time throughout Italy, so all those cities are at whatever time the clock above says.
What's the local time in the Vatican City?
Although the Vatican city is classed as a separate country, it has exactly the same time zone as the rest of Italy. See the clock for local time.
Dealing with the 24-hour clock.
Europeans are very used to dealing with the 24 hour clock, and in Italy you'll find that all times are given using the 24-hour system. If you're planning on catching trains, for example, you'll find the schedule is written in 24 hour time.
Train departures at Rome's Termini station, using 24-hour clock times (in the middle) which is standard in Europe.
So you need to know what it involves. If you're from outside Europe it may seem strange, but it's a pretty simple concept.
The day runs from midnight, which is 0:00 hours, to mid-day which is 12:00, and back to midnight. So 2am becomes 02:00, and 2pm becomes 14:00 (12:00 plus 2 hours).
Want to try before you fly? Here's a 24 hour version of the time in Italy now. Bookmark this page and come back from time to time to practice, if it's something you're concerned about.
The current time in Italy by the 24 hour clock is...
Some fun facts about time in Italy.
There are some "unwritten rules" about the use of time in Italy which are worth knowing about if you're visiting.
- Cappuccino should never be drunk after about 10am. Its milky consistency will give you a poor night's sleep if it's taken any later. Italians will privately shake their heads if you order a cappuccino after your evening meal. In fact, our Italian friends don't bother shaking their heads in private now. They openly sigh in disbelief.
- Espresso is the coffee drink of both the morning and the evening. It won't keep you awake, it will settle your digestion for a better night's sleep. Or at least, that's the theory (and from our experience it does, surprisingly, seem to work that way!).
- Except in tourist areas, the evening meal in Italy never starts before 7.30 pm. If we're invited to Italian friends' houses, or there's a local 'festa', the meal won't start until around 9.30pm and will last for several hours. Even a regular family meal is considered a social occasion after a hard day's work.
Our tiny rural village community comes together for a meal - which never starts before 9.30 pm!
- School times are generally between 8am and 1pm, although there are some regional differences. So don't be surprised if you see school children apparently skipping school in the afternoon.
- Bank times in Italy are regulated by law and run from 8.30 am to 1pm and in the afternoon from 2pm to 3.30pm. However, don't be surprised if banks, especially in rural areas, alter their times slightly.
- Shop opening times vary from place to place. Although in cities most big stores will be open throughout the day, in smaller places expect them to open at around 8.30 am until stopping for lunch at 1pm. They will then re-open from about 3.30 pm until 7.30 in the evening.
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